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Shear rate is the rate at which a progressive shearing deformation is applied to some material.

Simple shear

The shear rate for a fluid flowing between two parallel plates, one moving at a constant speed and the other one stationary (Couette flow), is defined by

where:

  • .γ is the shear rate, measured in reciprocal seconds;
  • v is the velocity of the moving plate, measured in meters per second;
  • h is the distance between the two parallel plates, measured in meters.

Or:

For the simple shear case, it is just a gradient of velocity in a flowing material. The SI unit of measurement for shear rate is s−1, expressed as "reciprocal seconds" or "inverse secondsThe shear rate for a fluid flowing between two parallel plates, one moving at a constant speed and the other one stationary (Couette flow), is defined by